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Weeknight Dinners: Pork Chops With Dijon Cream Sauce

I found this recipe through Cooking Light. It was among a bunch of promotional recipes designed to get you to sign up for a subscription. This meal was so easy and delicious that I probably should indeed become a Cooking Light subscriber! 



  • 4 (4 oz) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (1/2 inch thick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon Dijo mustard
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • chopped fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Sprinkle both sides of pork with salt and pepper
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until lightly brown and done. Transfer pork to a serving plate and keep warm.
  3. Add broth to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in half-and-half, mustard and lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 6 minutes or until sauce is slightly thick. Spoon sauce over pork; sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Weeknight Dinners: Slow-Cooked Beef Stew

Jennifer Downing is featured in the Mompreneur Directory and offers cooking classes and experiences through her business Nourish. She shared this recipe for Slow-Cooked Beef Stew, which seems like a perfect meal for the stretch of cold, gray weather that is in front of us. It requires five hours of cooking time, though, so if you can't get it started by about noon, you can cook it the night before and reheat.



  • 2½ pound lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-1 ½” cubes
  • 12 oz. baby carrots
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes cut into ¼s or ½s if large
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled & cut into ¾” cubes
  • 4 small onions, peeled & quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. celery seeds
  • 1 t. dry thyme
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2½ cups V-8 juice
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 3½ T. tapioca


Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees.

In a large Dutch oven combine the beef with all the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the V-8, wine, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, garlic, celery seeds, thyme. When thoroughly combined whisk tapioca into liquid, being sure to incorporate well. Add this mixture to the seasoned beef & vegetable stirring well to blend.

Cover the Dutch oven lightly with foil and cook 5 hours without peeking or disturbing. Serve at once, or refrigerate overnight and reheat the next day.

Makes 6 servings.


Weeknight Dinners: Chow Mien Chicken Casserole

This recipe from contributor Maureen Slaughter is a favorite of her oldest son.

Chow Mien Chicken Casserole


  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can chicken and rice soup
  • Approx 3 cups (or 3 breasts) of cooked, diced chicken
  • Sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 cups (approx) Chow mien noodles
  • Breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauce pan, heat both cans of soup (no water added). When soups are warm and blended, stir in the chicken and mushrooms. In bottom of casserole pan, put 1+ cup of dry chow mien noodles. Top with half of the soup and chicken mixture. Add another 1+ cup of chow mien noodles. Top with remaining soup and chicken mixture. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the top. Cook for approximately 25 to 35 minutes.


Weeknight Dinner: Overnight Crock Pot Roast Beef

The latest in the "Weeknight Dinners" series isn't something you can just whip up after getting home from work. It does take 12 hours of cooking. But if you plan ahead, once you get it in the crock pot, you can forget all about it! This contribution comes from Maureen Slaughter, of the "90 Days of No Repeat Dinners." She says this recipe is "great for a large group and very easy."



  • Approximately 5-pound beef roast (eye of round or anything that looks good)
  • Crazy Jane's Mixed Up Salt
  • 1 or more cans beef broth (or beef bullion and water)


Sear roast in a pan (with a tiny bit of oil) until all sides are browned. (Searing is optional, but it adds flavor.) Put roast in crock pot along with any drippings from pan. Pour beef broth over top. Sprinkle heavily with Crazy Jane's salt. Cook 12 + hours on low until it can be easily pulled apart with forks.  (I often sear it and start it in the crock pot just before going to bed the night before.) 

Serve on rolls. (I recommend Turano brand French rolls.) Mustard and/or provolone cheese are great additions. Can be made ahead and freezes well.

Notes: Want a version for tacos?  Replace the Crazy Janes with 1 or 2 cans of chopped green chilles.


Mom to Mom: The Update on 90 Days of No Repeat Dinners

Back in August, my close friend Maureen Slaughter (a mom to two boys) told us about how she had challenged herself not to repeat a dinner all summer long. Today, she gives us an update about how it all turned out. 

Our summer of "No Repeat Dinners" came to an end last month. I found it to be a very rewarding challenge.  Originally, my family was not crazy about the idea, but it was actually enjoyable to plan meals together, try new things and get out of our dinner rut. And, most importantly, my children lived through having their beloved chicken parmesan only once all summer. They saved it for the last week of the summer, and they savored every bite.

Photo by Leo Reynolds on Flickr.We tried at least one new dinner recipe each week, which revealed some new meals to add to our dinner rotation. Tilapia with lemon, turkey meatball sandwiches, and parmesan crusted pork chops were all successes! However, we had some failures along the way – food experiments that we can cross of the list. I try to convince myself that these failures give us a greater appreciation for the more successful meals.

I'm pleased that some of our favorite meals were very simple to make including roast chicken, grilled pork chops and cheese omelets. And several can be made in big batches and frozen for a future meal like shredded roast beef, chicken tacos and pulled pork BBQ.

The big benefit for me is that I now have a master list of our favorite meals from the summer hanging on the fridge. I included it for this article.  All of our dinners are served with fresh fruit and spinach & romaine salad (except for eggs – I can’t eat salad with eggs). Within each category, meals are ordered with our favorites at the top.  Just having the list makes meal planning for the week so much easier! I just pick one thing from seven different categories and my meal planning for the week is complete.

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